I just came back home from my trip to Kansas for my father’s memorial service. All of my father’s 8 grandchildren were able to come (Samuel, Joshua, Hannah, and Benjamin Cole; Charlotte, Peter, and Richard Ashlock, and Walter Magellan Musser), my father’s twin brother Arthur, and other dear friends who packed out Danforth Chapel at the University of Kansas. Many people shared their memories about my father and this is what I said:
Richard Cole April 2nd 2013- October 29, 1929.
My father was an excellent father and was a very wise and virtuous man. He honored truth and wisdom so much that he made it his full time vocation and actually got paid for it. Somebody once told me that someday I would become wiser than my father, but I am not sure if that day will ever come. We spent a lot of time discussing history and technology and religion together late into the night on many occasions. He was an outstanding father and friend and mentor about life from the beginning of my life to the end of his. I remember asking him about him recently about if knowledge and wisdom has been passed down from the ancient Greek philosophers to modern philosophers, what if one or a couple generations would drop the ball? He said that would never happen because ideas are captured in books, as long as there are books, people can read those books and rediscover those truths again and again. My first memory of my father is giving us baths and telling us Mark and Wendy stories about our invisible, intangible rabbit ears and about the ogre who lived in the basement and the old ghost lady who lived in the attic. At the end of each of those stories he would always say: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Wake Up bright, To do what’s right with All your might. And that is what I have learned from my father. The answer to the question “Why Am I Here?” is to do what’s right with all my might.